I go to supermarkets almost everyday for grocery shopping and I am constantly seeking for a way to save some money. I can pretty much call myself an expert of grocery shopping at good deal by now. Today, I would like to share some special tips for getting the most out of the local supermarkets here in Japan. It is actually something pretty simple, but that you might not know about. 

Check the Flyers or Website before Shopping

This picture above may give you headache with all these small numbers and kanji, but it is actually important to check before to visit supermarkets. This flyer from the local supermarket gives you all the information which items are on sale. This way I don’t have to spend much time trying to figure out what I’m going to make for my family, and I also can save money. 

Time Sale Everyday!

Timing is important for a lot of things and that includes when to buy you food in supermarket. A lot of people aim for 1 or 2 hours before closing because when it gets close to closing time, the store will start discounting their fresh food like fish and meat. Fresh foods from Japanese supermarkets have high reputation for high quality. They just won’t sell them over the next day. 

The other ready-made and fresh items such as bento boxes, side dishes, and sushi are most likely to be on a bargain as well. Convenience stores also sell fresh foods like rice balls and sandwiches, but they just throw away when they reach their expiration date without being discounted. So if you want more better deal, supermarket is the place for you.

Free Ice Cubes, Free Plastic Bags and Lots of Other Free Service!

Dry ice and ice cubes are provided free of charge for “keep refrigerated” items purchased at the supermarket. Plastic bags, rubber band to avoid other items from getting wet, and even small packed seasonings such as soy sauce and wasabi are available. There are also supermarkets with microwave ovens so that you can heat up your lunch. Of course, for those who bought lunch boxes, disposable dishes, plastic spoons, forks etc. are free. At first glance, it is not environmental friendly, but it is a nice service for travelers or when someone has not much time.